Olympus 150-400mm


swifty

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So pulling up some details of the Panasonic Leica 100-400 f/4-6.3
100mm f/4, 200mm f/5.1, 300mm f/5.7, 400mm f/6.3
The FF equivalent f-numbers would be:
200mm f/8, 400mm f/10.2, 600mm f11.4, 800mm f/12.6
I don’t know where it crosses to f/4.5 but it’s likely for all overlapping focal lengths the Olympus will either be equal or ahead.

BTW, once we’re using equivalent f-numbers, we've already equalised the smaller sensor disadvantage so there will be NO IQ disadvantage vs a larger sensor except shooting at the base 2 stops of ISO's and even then it's largely a DR advantage that you need a scene with high enough DR to exploit. We're talking a super tele lens here so it's likely we won't be shooting at base so on a practical basis I'm not sure there will be any IQ disadvantage at all. Furthermore for scenes where you would be shooting at base ISO, there will be abundant light. Hardly an issue with m43 even with their “tiny sensors”. The only situation I can really think of where this might be an issue is the underside of a bird with white feathers on top but dark underneath shooting in the midday sun. But sure, if that's your regular scenario then choose something more appropriate.

Let’s not compare original manufacturers and third parties. There will be a premium on original manufacturer’s products no matter how it compares. Sigma’s mantra for their Art series have been excellent performance at a good price which comes at the cost of size and bulk. I’m not familiar enough with their Sports and Contemporary range to know their relative performance but suffice to say it ranks below their Art series for optical performance. The Olympus will likely gun for a different balance, we’ll just have to wait and see.

We don’t know the 150-400's wide open performance, performance at different focal lengths, it’s closest focusing capabilities among others.

Other potential benefits.
AF detection range favours the lens with the faster actual f-number (constant f/4.5 for the Olympus). Equivalent f-number, which describes total light and SNR doesn't matter here.
Optical zooming to achieve the AOV or 'reach' fills the frame with the subject much better than cropping. This improves the system’s ability to subject-recognise. Animal AF is already here. More precise animal eye AF can be achieved with optical zooming and better framing compared to cropping from a larger sensor.
Also as Pitachu mentions, it’s a constant aperture pro lens. It’s just a nicer experience dealing with a constant max aperture.
And is it any questions that the build and weather sealing of this lens would rival any lenses out there given weather sealing is kinda Olympus' thing.
We can also probably add stabilisation advantages since Olympus are arguably the leaders and sensor base IBIS favours the smaller sensors with less mass.

Let’s not judge it prematurely. Too many unknowns atm.
 

ricohflex

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If money is no object then Sony 600mm F4 GM, Canon 600mm F4L, Canon 400mm F2.8L are not too bad. All full frame.
No need to compare these with Olympus 150mm to 400mm MFT lens.
Olympus 150mm to 400mm for MFT is not in the same ranking, being not a prime lens and not being full frame.
The 1.25x built in TC is a let down. Because it is neither here nor there. Should at least be a 1.4x.
Still, possibly a good try medal contender. The general market may profoundly reject it if the price is high.
 

Pitachu

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If money is no object then Sony 600mm F4 GM, Canon 600mm F4L, Canon 400mm F2.8L are not too bad. All full frame.
No need to compare these with Olympus 150mm to 400mm MFT lens.
>>> Of course. If money is no object, I will buy the all of the above lenses and bodies and engage a few porters to carry them for me.
>>> But to be realistic, we need to compare apple to apple, bearing in mind any major difference in price.

Olympus 150mm to 400mm for MFT is not in the same ranking, being not a prime lens and not being full frame.
>>> Of course it is not.

The 1.25x built in TC is a let down. Because it is neither here nor there. Should at least be a 1.4x.
>>> it is not a let down, it is an additional option.
>>> it allows users to switch the lens from 300-800mm to 375mm to 1000mm.
>>> the user can add another 2.0x TC to change the lenses to 750mm x 2000mm.
>>> Hence this is a very flexible super telephoto lenses.

Still, possibly a good try medal contender. The general market may profoundly reject it if the price is high.
>>> I am not interested whether it is a statement or win any prize.
>>> I am only interested if its price meet my perceived value target price.
>>> eg.I would drive a BMW if the price is $100K. Otherwise I will make do with my Toyota
and give the BMW a miss:cool:

As per my previous post, if the Olympus 150-400 is below US$4K, a lot of people
including myself will probably go for it. If it is above that, we will just wait for the
price to drop or wait for used ones available.
 

swifty

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There's a massive difference between the likes of 100-400, 200-600 zooms and the FF exotics like the 180-400 f/4 TC1.4, 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4's in both price and size.
The Olympus 150-400 looks to be straddling a space between these.
Looks to me like Olympus is 'bravely' doing something that hasn't been done before unlike.... I dunno, doing the same thing as everyone else like making a FF camera ;)
 

ricohflex

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That is the problem. Claims of Olympus being the "innovator" of something not done before.
A Malaysian video blogger makes wild claims and accuses "EVERYONE" of copying 6 Olympus "innovations".
This is a grave dis-service to Olympus. To discerning folks, it makes Olympus look cheapskate and dishonest.
One of them is true - Invention of automatic dust reduction for digital cameras (sensor) is an Olympus innovation.
Olympus never made any claims to have innovated the other 5.

But anyway, Olympus is copying concept from old stuff like :

Hypothetical f4.5 with 2x converter and use built-in 1.25x gives f11.25
Ordinary Olympus MFT bodies can operate AF at f11.25?
Canon & Nikon may face the same AF problem.
 

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swifty

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No one is saying the concept of a fast tele zoom with TC is new. It’s even stated in my post as examples of the exotic telephotos.

What is new is the AOV range it covers natively and what we speculate to be a bridge/alternative between common regular telephotos and the exotic telephotos.

The AF bar that Olympus has set may be precisely why a 1.25X TC was chosen instead of a 1.4X TC as that would bring the f-number down to f/6.3 instead of f/5.6. This is one way of achieving 1000mm equivalent AOV whilst still being a constant aperture zoom without making the lens excessively big. Otherwise you would have either a 150-500 f/4.5-5.6 or a much larger 150-500 f/4.5 if you went the non-TC method.
Looks to me like they made a conscious decision to balance the size and aperture for AF needs whilst meeting certain design goals such as constant max aperture zoom.
 

ricohflex

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In MFT 400mm extended with built-in 1.25 TC gives 500mm. Aperture goes from F4 to F5.625.
with MFT 2x crop factor it is
800mm extended with built-in 1.25 TC gives 1000mm. Aperture goes from F4 to F5.625.

If extended further by adding a 2x teleconverter.
Aperture goes from F5.625 to F11.25.

Can most normal Olympus MFT bodies AF at F11.25?
If yes, good.

If not, then it means that Olympus is saying if you insert a 2x teleconverter and also use the built-in 1.25 TC, then NO AF.
If user must have AF, then it means the supposed usage of an additional 2x teleconverter for this lens when the built-in 1.25X TC is already engaged, is good for marketing spin braggadocio only.
Not for real world use. Just for boasting this lens can go to 2000mm (after 2X crop factor).

You may be right about Olympus conscious decision to limit to 1.25x instead of 1.4x for the built-in TC.
That may mean Olympus knows F5.6 is the AF operational usefulness limit for most of its camera bodies.
 

swifty

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The thing is, all mirrorless AF deteriorates with a slower aperture. It was even worse with DSLRs where up until fairly recently most AF points didn't even work below f/5.6. Now some work to f/8. That's why you are seeing more and more mirrorless zooms creeping down the aperture scale as they still work, at least in good light. Canon has one going down to f/7.1.
Keeping it at f/5.6 may be just one of many performance bars that Olympus has set themselves as a design parameter for this pro lens. It doesn't mean it stops working, or "operationally limited" as you call it at f/6.3 and beyond but things continue to deteriorate the smaller the aperture.
I don't know if PDAF is maintained at f/11 and smaller. I suspect in good light the answer may be yes but likely the system will switch to CDAF approach which again depends on the illumination and contrast of the scene whether the system will lock.
But don't forget that from 1000-1600mm (using the TC 2 without the built-in TC1.25), you're at f/9 so f/11.25 is only from 1600-2000mm.

Now let's be practical here, what other system are offering fantastic AF beyond an AOV equivalent of 1000mm. You're pretty much now limited to the super tele's used with TC's with or without cropping. How much and how big are those systems again?

And now you're talking about parameters outside of its native range of 300-800mm + TC to 1000mm.
Sure you can do it by stacking your TC's but who in their right mind won't expect compromises, possibly severe when doing so. The fact that you can even stack the TC's is impressive enough as it is.
What real world subjects are people shooting at 2000mm that needs rapid AF?
 

swifty

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I forgot Olympus makes a TC 1.4 although I have to check whether it's compatible.
If so then the whole picture would be:
300-800mm f/4.5
801-1000mm f/5.6 (TC 1.25)
1001-1120mm f/6.3 (TC 1.4)
1121-1400mm f/7.8 (TC 1.4 + 1.25)
1401-1600mm f/9 (TC 2)
1601-2000mm f/11.25 (TC 2 + 1.25)
 

Pitachu

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The weight of the Olympus 150-400mm is now out.
it's 1.85kg (without collar) and 2Kg with collar.

For comparison purposes, the Sony 200-600mm weights 2.115kg (probably with collar).
On a APS-C camera (eg. Sony a6600 @24 mp)
the Sony 200--600 is 900mm at F6.5.

The Olympus 150-400 max reach with its built in 1.25TC is 1000mm at F5.6
(35mm equivalent).

I am not aware of any other zoom lenses that can reach close to 1000mm at F5.6
at the moment for comparison.

Looks like Olympus has got a niche. Only deciding factor left is the price :)
 

ricohflex

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It seems superzoom bridge cameras have been doing that (close to 1000mm at F5.6) and it is not new.
For example Nikon P1000.
Nikon P1000 can zoom out to equivalent of 3000mm.
Of course one can dismiss it by condemning that this cheap trick is achieved by putting a miserably small sensor in your camera body.
Touché
If one can live with the quality of the image from the very small sensor, then no problem.

A Sony 200 to 600 zoomed out to 600 (equivalent of 900mm in a APS-C camera).
If used on an APS-C body, it gives an image 1.63 times bigger than MFT.

A Sony 200 to 600 zoomed out to 600 at F6.3 used on a full frame body is 600mm.
It gives an image on a full frame sensor that is FOUR times the size of the MFT sensor.
Does 4 times the sensor size matter? What do photographers think?
Sony 200 to 600 weighs 2.115 KG without collar.
The lens states that it is Made In China. Not in Japan.

So far, reviewers have been very afraid to state this basic fact (Where is it made?) about the Olympus 150 to 400.
They obviously know --- but are very afraid to say.
They do NOT want to reveal this or have been warned by Olympus.
If it is made in Japan, then good.

Whatever it is, let the market decide.
If the 150-400 lens fly off the shelves and break sales records of telephoto zooms, then good.
If after 1 year, only few 150-400 lenses are sold, then that is reality.
 

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swifty

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The source of the weight is a single post from someone on dpreview claiming to have asked someone at Olympus. Whilst it may prove accurate, it’s hardly a confirmed weight.

When comparing lenses of different formats, it’s important to make the correct comparisons.
There’s the actual f-number which is important when considering the AF performance, particularly the detection range.
And there’s the equivalent f-number, which is expressed in FF terms that is important for comparing SNR and total light.
There’s no point banging on about a FF sensor being 4X the area of m43 when you don’t account for the fact the m43 may be using a faster lens which means the light intensity per unit area is greater but spread over a smaller surface area.
So when using the equivalent f-numbers, it has already accounted for the smaller sensor so it now equals the FF sensor in all but the base 2 ISO’s of DR.

The equivalent f-number at 1000mm AOV for the 150-400 is f/11.2. The actual f-number remains at f/5.6
The equivalent f-number at 1000mm AOV for the 200-600 (which would require a 1.67X crop) is f/10.5. The actual aperture remains at f/6.3

So the 200-600 comes out around 1/6 stops better at 1000mm equivalent AOV for SNR and total light collection only and the 4X larger FF sensor has already been accounted for
It doesn’t speak of the sharpness, contrast, flare, CA or anything else about optical performance.
So when you take into account the actual optical performance once the lens is released, what do you think is the chance the 150-400 will overcome the measly 1/6 stops of total light deficit at 1000mm AOV?
 

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swifty

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P1000 uses a 1/2.3" sensor with a 5.6X crop factor.
At 1000mm it has an actual f-number of f/5.6 but an equivalent f-number of f/31.3
So why are we comparing a combo that has an equivalent f-number of f/31.3 at 1000mm AOV again?
 

Pitachu

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I am not familiar with how relevant is AOV (Angle of View?) used for comparison here.
It seemed that it is similar to depth of field here.

The main thing I looked out for is the Aperture, as they will determine the amount of light
that can reach the sensor. So even though the P1000 equivalent F-number is F31.3 for AOV,
it is still taking at f5.6 (amount of light entering the lenses to sensor.

For shooting over long distances, Depth of Field is normally not as important
as we usually open wide and background tend to be blurry.
 

swifty

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I am not familiar with how relevant is AOV (Angle of View?) used for comparison here.
It seemed that it is similar to depth of field here.

The main thing I looked out for is the Aperture, as they will determine the amount of light
that can reach the sensor. So even though the P1000 equivalent F-number is F31.3 for AOV,
it is still taking at f5.6 (amount of light entering the lenses to sensor.

For shooting over long distances, Depth of Field is normally not as important
as we usually open wide and background tend to be blurry.
I use angle of view because the two formats uses different aspect ratios (3:2 and 4:3). But since it's the diagonal of the rectangle that they use to calculate the crop factor, then AOV is more accurate. But for all intents and purposes, you can use FOV instead if you prefer. It has nothing to do with DOF though, I think you're mixing up your terminology.

The aperture does determine the amount of light per unit area that reaches the sensor.
*EDIT: Sorry I have to edit the line above. It should read, the aperture does determine the amount light that reaches the sensor. The f-number is a ratio of the focal length to the aperture diameter that denotes the per-unit area intensity of light that it lets through.*
But because the sensor area is smaller, you don't get an apples to apples comparison between FF and m43 with respect to the signals collected. So to get an apples to apples comparison, you use the equivalent f-number.
The total light that falls on the sensor determines the total signal that is collected.
A P1000 sensor has a sensor area of only about 3.18% the size of a FF sensor. So a f/5.6 lens's image circle projected onto a sensor that small yields about the same light as a lens at f/31.3 projected onto a FF sized sensor.

I haven't introduced DOF at all. It has implications but we haven't discussed that atm.
 

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Pitachu

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Yes, but FUNCTIONALLY speaking, as long as I can capture a reasonably sized image (eg. 16mp to 24mp for my purpose)
that is bright enough with an acceptable noise level, I think it is okay for me and probably a number of other users.

My colleague has the P1000 and some of the images he captured on the moon, planets and other super-tele
shots blew me away, though I must admit the scope is quite limited for 1000mm to 3000mm.

The Olympus 150-400 offers SLR users to shoot photos at 375-1000mm at F5.6 which I think is a good range
not available by other SLR manufacturers at the moment. The alternative is you can use a costly
and very high resolution DSLR eg. Sony A7 R4 and crop out a similar image during post process.



I use angle of view because the two formats uses different aspect ratios (3:2 and 4:3). But since it's the diagonal of the rectangle that they use to calculate the crop factor, then AOV is more accurate. But for all intents and purposes, you can use FOV instead if you prefer. It has nothing to do with DOF though, I think you're mixing up your terminology.

The aperture does determine the amount of light per unit area that reaches the sensor. But because the sensor area is smaller, you don't get an apples to apples comparison between FF and m43 with respect to the signals collected. So to get an apples to apples comparison, you use the equivalent f-number.
The total light that falls on the sensor determines the total signal that is collected.
A P1000 sensor has a sensor area of only about 3.18% the size of a FF sensor. So a f/5.6 lens's image circle projected onto a sensor that small yields about the same light as a lens at f/31.3 projected onto a FF sized sensor.

I haven't introduced DOF at all. It has implications but we haven't discussed that atm.
 

swifty

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Yes, but FUNCTIONALLY speaking, as long as I can capture a reasonably sized image (eg. 16mp to 24mp for my purpose)
that is bright enough with an acceptable noise level, I think it is okay for me and probably a number of other users.

My colleague has the P1000 and some of the images he captured on the moon, planets and other super-tele
shots blew me away, though I must admit the scope is quite limited for 1000mm to 3000mm.

The Olympus 150-400 offers SLR users to shoot photos at 375-1000mm at F5.6 which I think is a good range
not available by other SLR manufacturers at the moment. The alternative is you can use a costly
and very high resolution DSLR eg. Sony A7 R4 and crop out a similar image during post process.
I agree completely. I'm not putting the P1000 down in any ways btw. It is actually pretty darn good but it is what it is in terms of it's light gathering capabilities, which makes the P1000 pretty much a 'good light' camera.

The thing that ppl stumble on is thinking a small sensor is inherently noisy. It's not.
What small sensors lack is sensor area for light collection which means it's lacking the S (Signal) part of SNR (Signal to noise ratio). Resultant images from smaller sensors can be noisy because there's not enough signal so the noise level dominates. Give the small sensor enough signal and it performs pretty well but there are limitations the smaller the sensor you go.
A m43 sensor is only 2 stops down from FF. Give it 2 stops extra of light intensity and things are equaled out.

Also the equivalent aperture of/11.2 at 1000mm that the 150-400 can achieve is not bad in any ways. It's actually close to as good as you're gonna get in any system if you still want to hand hold the thing and still have a reasonable aperture for AF purposes. I have a feeling me saying it is equivalent of 1000mm f/11.2 is viewed as something bad. It is not. It's actually very good.

Small note. Your friend may be putting the P1000 on astro trackers, thereby eliminating the shutter speed problem. Which means he/she can be feeding the sensor as much light as it can take whilst taking advantage of it's ultra tele optical zoom.
 

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